Heartache and betrayal are two things Keeley Stone is very familiar with. Born into a life she never wanted, betrayed by her own parents, she never saw a way out. Until one day, two men who know nothing of her or her life step up and protect her when she’s in need of a savior.
Loyalty and respect are not just something earned for brothers Nathaniel and Tyler Maxwell, but a code they live by. A chance encounter with a gorgeous young woman has left them enthralled with her.
Can they convince her they’re worth fighting for? Or will she let demons of her past control her future?
Note: This is a stand alone HEA M/F/M contemporary romance novel. There is no touching for titillation between brothers.
“I can see the wheels turning in that beautiful head of yours. Let us take you to breakfast or lunch, or maybe dinner? Your choice. Of course, we could always take you to all three. Yep, I think that one works best for us,” Tyler said to her with a wink at the end.
“Dammit Ty, you're gonna overwhelm the poor girl. Back off,” Nathaniel told him with a frown, marring his beautiful brown eyes.
“Thank you for the kind offer but I can’t,” she declined and turned to put their order in for their meals.
“Why not?” asked Nathaniel as she was half way across the room. She stopped dead in her tracks, feeling the blush working its way up her face, which, of course, made her cheeks throb. Damn pale skin was all she could think as she turned around, and knew that not only could they see her embarrassment, but so could everyone else as they all waited for her to answer him.
She stood there for a full minute staring at them, until she heard him... “Because this ain’t no fucking dating service, that’s why,” Fred said as he walked up behind her and put his meaty arm around her shoulders, and cupped her tightly.
She could see the anger in Tyler and Nathaniel’s faces as they stared at where Fred’s hand was. They both stood up and Tyler shot a small smile her way, and that wink she was coming to love, before refocusing his attention on Fred. Nathaniel just looked pissed off and she knew she was about to get hurt again. That was all men did. Good God, was he freaking huge; bigger than she originally thought.
“Come here, Butterfly,” Nathaniel told her. She started to move, thinking whatever he was about to do would be better than having Fred’s stinky self glued to her the way he was. As she took her first step, Fred held onto her arm so tightly that she whimpered. Tyler and Nathaniel growled at that. Actually growled. Glaring daggers at Fred, Nathaniel walked closer, grabbed her hand so gently she thought she was dreaming, and gave one small tug so she practically flew into his chest. The strange thing for her was that the entire time, he made sure she was protected. When she hit his chest, he put one hand to the small of her back and one to the back of her neck. It was very proprietary. His large arms engulfed her, completely surrounding her. Strangely, she felt safe, and she found she really liked the way he was caressing the back of her neck with his thumb.
Turning her head with a small smile on her face, she saw Tyler looking at her with this big wolf-like grin on his, it gave her a moment of peace. She closed her eyes, just wanting to enjoy this feeling of safety that she had never felt before. She wanted to embrace it before it was gone.
“Don’t ever put your dirty fucking hands on our woman again. Are we clear? Don’t even look at her for that matter. If I ever find out that you have done anything to make Keeley uncomfortable or feel less than safe, I will come in here and personally kick your ass before having this place shut down. And then just for kicks, I’ll make you lick the dirt off my shoes. We clear?” Nathaniel said all of this to Fred with such menace in his voice that Keeley couldn’t help but start to shake in fear, and grip his shirt tighter. She had a hold of it just above his abs, and feeling him tighten his grip on her calmed her nerves just a little bit.
For the first time ever, she actually heard a note of fear creep into Fred’s voice when he said, “Ya man, ok. I didn’t know she was yours, she never said anything.”
That’s when Tyler got involved and admonished him. “You think that gives you the right to touch her or speak for her anytime you like?” She tried to burrow right into Nathaniel at that, because even though his voice held a note of steel in it, Tyler’s had such a fierce growl that she wanted to weep from the fear this confrontation was causing in her.
“Look guys, I’m sorry, ok. Keeley, I need you here now, but tomorrow night you can have off with pay, ok? Sound fair?” She simply nodded her head, because she just knew her voice would shake if she dared try to speak. Just then she heard the ding from the kitchen bell, signaling her other table’s orders were ready. Reluctantly she left the safety of Nathaniel’s arms, not looking at anyone for fear that they would see just how this encounter left her. Aroused from being so close to Nathaniel, and fearful that this would only make things worse with Fred and Eleanor.